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Revised data show RMS made 'safe harbor' after all

Nov 14, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Adequate Yearly Progress results for Riverton Middle School have been modified and now show that the school is making Safe Harbor for 2012.

School District 25 superintendent Terry Snyder said the change was because of progress the middle schoolers have made on annual Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students. Schools must show 10 percent growth toward AYP goals to be designated as Safe Harbor schools.

If RMS shows improvement next year, Snyder said the school will no longer be identified for improvements at the state or federal level.

"It's very good news," he said of the change announced in late October. "It was just a really recent adjustment to that."

According to RMS statistics, 62.65 percent of students achieved proficiency in math in 2011, up from 50.20 percent in 2010. In 2012, 75.10 percent were proficient -- an increase of more than 13 percent from 2011, but just shy of the 75.20 percent middle school math target for AYP.

In reading and language arts, 56.33 percent of RMS students were proficient in 2010, then 67.25 percent in 2011. In 2012, 78.17 percent were proficient, showing about 11 percent improvement from the year before. The middle school reading target was set at 79.70 percent.

"We knew we were growing our kids," RMS principal Cheryl Mowry said Thursday. "That's what our goal is, to help them get to proficiency."

Frustration

Snyder said finalized AYP results for 2012 have been "released and changed, then modified and reviewed," explaining the lateness of the RMS Safe Harbor designation.

Mowry said the most recent news marks the fourth change to AYP results that she knows of. The confusion has put a damper on the success at RMS, though Mowry said teachers are happy they made Safe Harbor.

"We do want to celebrate," Mowry said. "But it didn't come with the happiness that it should have come with because of the frustration. We did (make AYP), then we didn't, now we did."

She added that school officials never received official, final notice that RMS had made Safe Harbor.

"The assistant superintendent ... printed a list of all the schools who didn't make (AYP), and we weren't on it," Mowry said.

Achieving this year's AYP goal will not change practices at RMS: Even if the school comes off of improvement lists at the state and federal level, Mowry said teachers will continue to help students progress.

"I think every school is always in improvement," Mowry said. "You always move forward, whether the state says you have to or not."

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